This meme was started by Books by Proxy, whose fabulous idea was to compare UK and US book covers and decide which is we prefer. This meme is being nurtured by Lynn’s Book Blog and this week we are featuring covers with CARTOON images. I’ve selected Sourcery – Book 5 of the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett.
This edition was produced by Harper in April 2008, and while I think many of the cover designs they came up with for the Discworld novels are underwhelming – I actually like this one. It has the playfulness and slight sense of mayhem that should always feature on Discworld cover. But whoever thought it was then a good idea to slap a round red label across the design needs to be frogmarched to an optician for an eye test. It wrecks the balance of the whole cover, because of the way it pulls your attention across to it. Grrr!
Published in July 1989 by Corgi, very unusually, this original cover design isn’t my favourite. I normally love Josh Kirby’s covers, but I’m not a fan of his depiction of Conina in this one. A bit too much bosom and hips – and yes, I’m aware that it is probably a swipe at the tendency for fantasy heroines to be over-endowed and under-dressed on book covers. But given that Pratchett’s writing doesn’t ever cross a line into any sexiness, I think it is sending the wrong message about the book.
This edition, published by Gollancz in February 2014, is part of a re-release of the series for collectors. Apparently. Why anyone would want to clutter up their bookshelves with a book so brimful of life and colourful characters encased in such a miserably monochrome effort is beyond me. But that’s because I loathe this cover.
This edition, produced by the New American Library in 1989 is more like it! There is the Librarian and Rincewind both looking suitably befuddled at the exodus of various creatures from the Unseen University. The flavour of the book is nicely caught and the artwork is well done and eye-catching. And not a nasty sticker in sight😊. This one is so very nearly my favourite…
This French edition, published by Pocket in November 2010, nails it as far as I’m concerned. I love that awesome explosion and the wonderful image of a wizard flying across the cover in mid-air. I have to say, that next to the originals which will always have a place in my heart as we own most of them, it’s the Pocket covers that I think manage to get the sense of barely contained chaos that tends to run through all the Discworld books. And they achieve this while still producing a visually appealing effort, which is a huge achievement, given what a tricky task that is. Which is your favourite?
Pratchett is such a good choice for the theme this week😁 I’m leaning towards the New American Library cover, there is a lot going on and I want to find out more!
Thank you, Tammy:)). Yes, Himself has just given me a talking-to for not choosing the New American Library cover as my favourite! He says that given the Librarian is one of my favourite characters, I’m being disloyal…
Give me the ape! Tooooo funny!
Oh yes… or the Librarian, as he prefers to be called. But not monkey – NEVER monkey:)).
Even though I have not read Pratchett yet, I’ve always enjoyed the covers of his books, particularly the ones like the second in your list: they are all so delightfully busy and never fail to put a smile on my face even if I ignore the contents of the book 🙂
Thank you, Maddalena:). Yes – Pratchett covers should bring a smile to your face. You’ve hit the nail on the head!
LOL I actually like the Gollancz re-release, but maybe it’s because it reminds me of a video game I enjoyed once – yes, it was also devoid of color but made dramatic use of the black and white theme and shadows!
I’m glad that it has some love, Mogsy:)). I figured that it must have some appeal, because Gollancz is a traditional publishing house that has survived the upheavals produced by the introduction of ebooks, so they must be smart and reasonably market-savvy.
I don’t know anything about the books but like the first cover best! I hadn’t even noticed the red label:)
Thank you for your interesting comment, Becky! I find it fascinating that the red label didn’t register with you – while it SHOUTED at me… No wonder trying to get book cover designs right is such a tricky business:)).
So true, Sarah!
The new american library is best of the bunch. The pocket one is confusing as it looks like a space battle and I will have to take yer word for it being a wizard. I mean there may be a foot in there but mehaps that was the left over body part from the space explosion. Nothing like body part debris. Arrr!
x The Captain
My fondness for the Pocket cover might be to do with the fact that I know the story, so am aware of the incident depicted on the cover. Himself also commented that he couldn’t work out what was going on… The foot is attached to the wizard – he’s being flung through the air by the explosion:)). I don’t think even the French would tolerate body parts being featured on the cover of a Pratchett book:)))).
I think the first one might be my favorite. I love the simplicity but it’s still fun and eye-catching somehow. The 1989 cover made me laugh and I think I would definitely pick that one up.
Thank you, Katherine:). The first cover has a lovely design – and yes… that 1989 cover is fun:).
The first book is my favorite!
It is a great design:)).
I have to say, this is quite the lively batch of covers! Even that first one’s not too shabby when shown with the others of that design in the series. Even the third one has me thinking about a discovered chalk drawing in an old closet, something that was not supposed to be found. 🙂 As for the swipe at fantasy heroine art, I TOTALLY AGREE! But this wasn’t the place for it, lol
Thank you, Jean:)). Lol… “a discovered chalk drawing in an old closet…” And yes – I’m glad you agree that using a Discworld cover as a jab about underdressed Fantasy heroines wasn’t the place, either.